EFFECTIVE POLLINATION DISTANCE IN SPANISH OLIVE ORCHARDS
Olive is a wind-pollinated crop traditionally considered as self-compatible. For this reason, most olive orchards do not incorporate pollination designs. However, experimental evidence shows a positive response to cross-pollination in terms of yield and fruit quality. Different authors have therefore recommended including pollinizers in olive orchards and suggest a maximum distance of 30-40 m from cross-pollen source if the yield of the main cultivar is to be maximized. With the aim of verifying effective pollination distance in Spanish olive orchards we have compared the response to open- cross-, and self-pollination in Picual trees in both, mono- and multi-cultivar plantations. Our results show that Picual behaves as a self-incompatible cultivar with a reduced fruit set under self-pollination conditions. In both orchards, open-pollination increased fruit set with respect to self-pollination, at the same level that cross-pollination did. Moreover, final fruit set in open-pollinated trees distant up to 70 m from a block of Manzanilla de Sevilla, Hojiblanca and Gordal Sevillana trees showed no decline with increasing distances from this cross-pollen source. This result suggests that even in single cultivar orchards open pollination provides enough levels of cross-pollination since nearby plantations of different cultivars act as unsuspected pollinizers in this crop. The implications of our results on pollination designs and effective pollination distance will be discussed.
Pinillos, V., Calatrava , S. and Cuevas, J. (2012). EFFECTIVE POLLINATION DISTANCE IN SPANISH OLIVE ORCHARDS. Acta Hortic. 949, 199-202
Olea europaea, cross-pollination, open-pollination, self-pollination